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At Westin, If You Decline Housekeeping, They'll Give You $5 to Spend

If you're cheap, you will now benefit from being a slob, too.

Westin, an upscale-ish branch of the giant Starwood group of hotels, has a new idea. If you do something "great for the environment" (its words) and decline maid service, it will either give you a vouncher worth $5 at the hotel's restaurants or you can have 500 Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints.

In making the "Make a Green Choice" pitch, Westin reveals the shocking amount of energy and chemicals it uses (or claims to use) each time it cleans a standard guest room: more than 49 gallons of water, 7 ounces of chemicals, and enough electricity to power a laptop for 10 hours.

To get the wee voucher, you have to hang a Make a Green Choice paper sign (I wonder how much energy it took to produce those) on your doorknob by 2am. 

You won't be able to have your coffee supplies replenished, of course, which may force you to spend that $5 you just saved on a caffeine fix in the lobby. And it won't work on the day of departure—the hotel always cleans your room when you leave. Usually.

I'd also be curious to know if hotel properties are using curtailed demand for housekeepers to curtail the number of hours they hire them—or if demand is so slight that it doesn't affect wages significantly.

Either way, when guests decide not to be wasteful, it's is a good thing, even if it happens to save hotels money. In this case, it could save you a little, too.